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Average speed of answer (ASA)

Average speed of answer, or ASA, is a metric used to denote the average amount of time taken to answer voice calls for a specific duration. 
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What is the average speed of answer in call centers?

Average speed of answer (ASA) is a metric used to determine the average amount of time taken to answer voice calls for a specific duration. This includes the time spent by an agent to answer that call, excluding the time spent by the customer on IVR

ASA is important while measuring a contact center’s efficiency as it assesses a team’s overall performance and their accessibility to customers. A typical average speed of answer should be as low as possible.

How to calculate average speed of answer?

The formula to calculate average speed of answer (ASA) is: Average speed of answer = Total waiting time for answered calls / total number of answered calls

What is the industry benchmark for average speed of answer (ASA)?

The typical average speed of answer as per industry standards is 28 seconds.

If the average speed of answer is high, it helps a contact center find loopholes in their current workflows, and answer important questions like

  • Is the contact center short staffed and the workforce optimized?
  • Is the call volume distributed uniformly among agents?
  • Is the contact center assisting agents with the right tools?

What are the benefits of low average speed of answer?

  1. Increased agent satisfaction:
    Customers with longer wait times have reportedly reacted negatively to agents’ queries, directly impacting their morale. A low ASA ensures that most customer interactions can start off on a positive note.
  1. Low call abandonment rates:
    Frustrated customers tend to abandon calls if it isn’t answered within a certain duration. By lowering their speed of answer, agents can lower abandonment rate as well.
  1. Lower average handle time (AHT):
    Customers waiting in long queues are more likely to vent their anger on agents, resulting in increased average handle time as precious call time is spent in apologies, politely listening to the customer’s rant, and pacifying them.
  1. Lower supervisor escalation rates:
    If contact centers focus on how to control the average speed of answer, they can easily lower the possibility of supervisor escalations that are detrimental to the contact center and brand reputation.
  1. Better first call resolution (FCR) rates:
    When customers are attended to quickly, they tend to communicate their grievances more clearly, without the added frustration of waiting, leading to an increase in faster call resolutions.